com·​pile | \ kəm-ˈpī(-ə)l How to pronounce compile (audio) \
compiled; compiling

Definition of compile

transitive verb

1 : to compose out of materials from other documents compile a statistical chart
2 : to collect and edit into a volume compile a book of poems
3 : to build up gradually compiled a record of four wins and two losses
4 : to run (something, such as a program) through a compiler

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for compile


anthologize, collect

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of compile in a Sentence

He compiled a book of poems. She compiled a list of names. They took the best submissions and compiled them in a single issue of the magazine. We compiled our findings in the report.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Good City was one of 12 manufacturers to be recognized on this year's Future 50, compiled by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Manufacturers, including Good City Brewing, lead the 50 fastest-growing companies in the Milwaukee area," 7 June 2019 The Associated Press Information compiled by Breaking News producer Loyd Brumfield. Dallas News, "D-Day at 75: Trump, Macron honor veterans, memory of fallen troops," 6 June 2019 The 36-page report to the Legislature was compiled by Washington State Patrol Capt. USA TODAY, "Painting over history, saving cats’ claws, angry birds: News from around our 50 states," 5 June 2019 Philadelphia was one of eight jurisdictions included in the database compiled by the Plain View Project. Chris Palmer,, "Facebook posts by cops: How other locations in database with Philly are reacting," 5 June 2019 CinemaScore grades are compiled by teams of representatives in 25 cities across North America. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "CinemaScore, Rotten Tomatoes, and movie audience scores, explained," 13 Aug. 2018 Each year, an average of 19 children in the United States drown in a pool or spa the week of July Fourth, according to data compiled from media reports by the USA Swimming Foundation. Lisa Cianci,, "Pool safety tips to prevent child drownings," 3 July 2018 The list is compiled by the International Institute of Species Exploration, which is part of State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and it is released in May each year to honor Carolus Linnaeus’s birthday. Sarah Gray, Fortune, "A 62-Ton Tree and Great Ape Have Made the Top 10 New Species List," 23 May 2018 The salary rates would be the highest in the nation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures and research compiled by the committee. Jimmy Vielkind, WSJ, "New York State Lawmakers Set to Receive First Pay Raise in Two Decades," 6 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'compile.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of compile

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for compile

Middle English, from Anglo-French compiler, from Latin compilare to plunder

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about compile

Statistics for compile

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for compile

The first known use of compile was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for compile



English Language Learners Definition of compile

: to create (a CD, book, list, etc.) by gathering things (such as songs or pieces of writing or information)
: to put together (various songs, pieces of writing, facts, etc.) in a publication or collection
computers : to change (computer programming instructions) into a form the computer can understand and use


com·​pile | \ kəm-ˈpīl How to pronounce compile (audio) \
compiled; compiling

Kids Definition of compile

1 : to create by gathering things together She compiled a list of names.
2 : to put things together in a publication or collection

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on compile

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with compile

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for compile

Spanish Central: Translation of compile

Nglish: Translation of compile for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of compile for Arabic Speakers

Comments on compile

What made you want to look up compile? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


standardized text or formulaic language

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!